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Nigeria’s Sadiq Umar ruled out of 2024 AFCON by injury

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Super Eagles striker, Sadiq Umar

Spain based Nigeria’s Super Eagles striker, Sadiq Umar, will not be playing in the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), after a knee injury.

AFCON is the biggest soccer fiesta in Africa for men’s football.

The current champions are Senegal, who won their first title in 2021.

The latest edition of AFCON will take place in Ivory Coast from 13 January to 11 February, 2024.

Umar was ruled out after he sustained a knee injury during the Super Eagles’ last match against Guinea and he is expected to make a swift return to Club Real Sociedad for further treatment.

26-year-old Umar picked up a knee injury in Nigeria’s 2-0 loss in a friendly against Syli Stars of Guinea on Monday.

A replacement in Paul Onuachu has been named.

Super Eagles striker, Paul Onuachu

Super Eagles striker, Paul Onuachu

In a Friday statement posted on X by the official Super Eagles account, it was announced that Onuachu will replace Umar.

“Sadiq Umar is out of the AFCON 2023 squad due to injury and Paul Onuachu replaces him,” the statement reads.

Onuachu was at the AFCON 2019 finals in Egypt.

However, due to injury, the 29-year-old missed the subsequent competition in Cameroon.

Onuachu, in 15 games for Trabzonspor this season, has nine goals and three assists.

There are many famous players who have participated in AFCON, the main international football competition in Africa.

Some of them are:

Roger Milla (Cameroon): He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1976 and 1990, and was both the best player and top scorer at AFCON in 1986 and 1988, winning the trophy both times.

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Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon): He is the top AFCON goal scorer of all time, with 18 goals in six tournaments. He also won the title twice, in 2000 and 2002.

Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire): He is one of the most prolific strikers in African history, scoring 65 goals in 105 caps for his country. He reached two AFCON finals, in 2006 and 2012, but lost both on penalties.

Yaya Toure (Côte d’Ivoire): He is a four-time African Footballer of the Year, and one of the most successful midfielders in the world. He captained his country to their second AFCON title in 2015, after a 23-year drought.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt): He is the current African Footballer of the Year, and one of the best players in the world.

He has scored 10 goals in three AFCON tournaments, and was part of the team that reached the final in 2017 and 2021, losing to Cameroon and Senegal respectively.

Sadio Mane (Senegal): He is the current African Player of the Year, and one of the most influential forwards in the world.

He has scored nine goals in four AFCON tournaments, and helped Senegal win their first-ever title in 2021, beating Egypt in the final.

AFCON schedule

Group stage

Saturday January 13

Group A: Ivory Coast vs Guinea-Bissau – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (8pm)

Sunday January 14

Group A: Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (2pm)

Group B: Egypt vs Mozambique – Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (5pm)

Group B: Ghana vs Cape Verde – Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (8pm)

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Monday January 15

Group C: Senegal vs The Gambia – Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro (2pm)

Group C: Cameroon vs Guinea – Yamoussoukro (5pm)

Group D: Algeria vs Angola – Stade de la Paix, Bouake (8pm)

Tuesday January 16

Group D: Burkina Faso vs Mauritania – Bouake (2pm)

Group E: Tunisia vs Namibia – Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo (5pm)

Group E: Mali vs South Africa – Korhogo (8pm)

Wednesday January 17

Group F: Morocco vs Tanzania – Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro (5pm)

Group F: DR Congo vs Zambia – San Pedro (8pm)

Thursday January 18

Group A: Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (2pm)

Group A: Ivory Coast vs Nigeria – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (5pm)

Group B: Egypt vs Ghana – Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (8pm)

Friday January 19

Group B: Cape Verde vs Mozambique – Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (2pm)

Group C: Senegal vs Cameroon – Yamoussoukro (5pm)

Group C: Guinea vs The Gambia – Yamoussoukro (8pm)

Saturday January 20

Group D: Algeria vs Burkina Faso – Bouake (2pm)

Group D: Mauritania vs Angola – Bouake (5pm)

Group E: Tunisia vs Mali – Korhogo (8pm)

Sunday January 21

Group F: Morocco vs DR Congo – San Pedro (2pm)

Group F: Zambia vs Tanzania – San Pedro (5pm)

Group E: South Africa vs Namibia – Korhogo (8pm)

Monday January 22

Group A: Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (5pm)

Group A: Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria – Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (5pm)

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Group B: Cape Verde vs Egypt – Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan (8pm)

Group B: Mozambique vs Ghana – Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan (8pm)

Tuesday January 23

Group C: The Gambia vs Cameroon – Bouake (5pm)

Group C: Guinea vs Senegal – Yamoussoukro (5pm)

Group D: Angola vs Burkina Faso – Yamoussoukro (8pm)

Group D: Mauritania vs Algeria – Bouake (8pm)

Wednesday January 24

Group E: Namibia vs Mali – San Pedro (5pm)

Group E: South Africa vs Tunisia – Korhogo (5pm)

Group F: Tanzania vs DR Congo – Korhogo (8pm)

Group F: Zambia vs Morocco – San Pedro (8pm)


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